- "New Hope PA", The Chemistry Set
You know the scene in High Fidelity where there's the discussion on the top 5 opening tracks to albums? If I were to make such a list for local bands, this song would definitely be on that list. From the opening chords, "New Hope PA" combines all of the best elements of the soaring, hopeful U2 sound to the pure larger than life rock sound of The Who. It's been over a year since Chemistry Set lead singer Steve Duncan moved away. Steve, come back. Dallas misses you.
- "On & On", The Hourly Radio
The Hourly Radio definitely shared a large amount of common musical ground with BTD. But whereas BTD leaned heavier towards Joy Division and the darker side of the 80's new wave movement, The Hourly Radio was (relatively) lighter and poppier. Think more New Order, except less dance oriented. This band seemed poised to make waves out of Dallas, but that never happened, and then the band announced their breakup with no fanfare or even an official farewell show. So much for closure for the fans.
- "A Million to One", Sugarbomb
Sugarbomb was one of the first of the bands that I followed regularly to have a major breakup show. It was possibly the most emotional final show for a band that I've ever been to. I opted for this track simply because it gives me the opportunity to spotlight something from their debut album, Tastes Like Sugar, as opposed to the slicker production (sometimes too slick) of Bully.
- "I Like Love", pop poppins
I remember hearing this song being played on KDGE back when I started my first semester of Richland College. I know that dates me. Shut up.
- "The Saint's Id", Hi-Fi Drowning
Most bands put on a better live show than CD. If the album is better than the live show, that's usually a sign that the band's live performance is, well, awful. Hi-Fi Drowning is the only local band who put on a good live show but had a better CD. Technically, Hi-Fi Drowning never "broke up", but the band hasn't played a show in almost six years. I think we can safely call it a break up and not "on hiatus".
- "Blown Away", Tripping Daisy
I would've loved to post their cover of "Green Tambourine" off of the original Dragon Street Records pressing of Bill. Alas, this will have to do.
- "When We Was Kool", PPT
As a whole, I don't listen to a lot of rap and/or hip-hop. But when a band as talented (and fun) as PPT comes along, it's just impossible not to become a fan.
- "Three Months Later", Lucy Loves Schroeder
Before Sara Radle became a Rental, before Andrew Binovi moved away, and before Rob Schumacher played drums in almost every rockabilly/psychobilly band of note in Dallas, this fine trio of musicians were collectively known as Lucy Loves Schroeder. The band began every show with their mission statement: "We're Lucy Loves Schroeder, and we're going to rock your balls". Never did a live show go by where their mission was not accomplished.
- "Might've Said It", The Spin
I'd love to find a few more local gems from the early 90's on MySpace. Here's an idea if you're reading, Jeff Liles: create a music MySpace page called Tales From the Edge. Come on, get on the phone with George Gimarc and see what you can make happen. In the meantime, readers, enjoy this classic early 90's track from The Spin.
- "Sweet Little Bay", Sorta
When I talked about the emotional farewell show of Sugarbomb, the emotion was simply over the band's decision to call it quits. Sorta's farewell show was more emotional, and for obvious reasons. Yes, everyone saw the musicians onstage, but what everyone noticed is who was not on stage. This band ended way too early, just like the life of Carter Albrecht.
Finally, I leave you with a "bonus track" of sorts. It's a video of Flickerstick's final performance at The Aardvark. Lead singer Brandin Lea ended the night with the song "Execution by X-Mas Lights". It was only him and another guy on violin on stage. Towards the end of the song, Brandin added his own final verse to the song. This song has always been a Flickerstick fan favorite, but that night, the song's power was stronger than usual. Many critics of Flickerstick have complained about them sounding too commercial and slick, but this performance is anything but slick. It is simply a power, emotional, heartfelt performance by Brandin Lea that brought many an audience member to tears. Rewatching the video still puts a lump in my throat the size of a softball. The sound quality of the video is questionable, yet I feel that the emotion of the performance transcends the sound issues. Ultimately, as the saying goes, "you had to be there", but this the best I can do for my readers at the moment. By the way, if anyone has a higher quality video of that night, please let me know.